Epidemic of Skin Cancer Threatens Americans this Summer.


May is Melanoma Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, DC – With more than 2 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced ┬áthat she is cosponsoring the Sunscreen Innovation Act – bipartisan legislation that aims to streamline the approval process to bring safe and effective sunscreens to consumers as quickly as possible. The bill seeks to break a logjam at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where some sunscreen ingredients that are widely used in foreign markets – such as Canada and Europe – have been stuck in the approval process for 12 years.

“The fight against skin cancer starts with using the best available sunscreen, and this bipartisan legislation will help ensure that Americans have access to the highest quality sunscreen products,” said Senator Ayotte. “As we observe national Melanoma Awareness Month, Congress should take up and pass this commonsense bill right away. There’s no reason why bureaucratic federal regulations should prevent safe and effective products from reaching the marketplace.”

Ingredients in over-the-counter sunscreens must be approved by the FDA, which hasn’t added to its list of approved sunscreen ingredients since 1999 – even though sunscreen with new ingredients has been available in foreign markets including Europe, Canada, Asia and South America for 15 years.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act aims to ensure that sunscreen ingredients going through the FDA approval process receive a transparent review within a predictable timeframe – 11 months or less, depending on whether it is a new or existing submission. As it stands now, there is no mandatory timeline for this process. Existing FDA eligibility requirements would be maintained – an ingredient must be used extensively and safely for at least five years in at least one country.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act (S. 2141) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Companion legislation (H.R. 4250) was introduced in the House by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Congressman John Dingell (D-MI).

The legislation is supported by: the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Melanoma Research Foundation, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.